Volume 2 Issue 29

Annual wellbeing survey 

This week we have been asking our pupils how they are…

In truth, this trivial sounding exercise is of the utmost importance to us as a school community. All pupils at KES received what we intend to make an annual ‘wellbeing survey’ earlier in the week, which I hope that everybody completed with appropriate honesty and seriousness. The survey is designed to ‘take the temperature’ of the school regarding important issues such as levels of anxiety and the pupils’ ability to self-regulate their mental health. However, it also addresses some other really important topics that are very much to the fore in today’s society, such as self-harm, teen suicide, gender and racial discrimination and sexual harassment and assault. We do not apologise for seeking to address these issues in direct and frank terms in the survey, because it is vital that we do not dress them up in euphemisms, nor avoid or tip-toe around them. We need to know about and understand our pupils’ experiences and perceptions if we are to continue to educate them and help prepare them for the modern world. Although all surveys submitted will be anonymous, we have asked the pupils to indicate their gender and year group so that we can see, for this year and in to the future, where in the school patterns emerge regarding wellbeing issues and their social understanding. The responses of our pupils will play a large part in how we designate pastoral priorities in the coming years. Our thanks go to all of the pupils for their participation and candour.

Neal Parker

Whole School Notices

Cyber Security Update

We have recently had an incident where a parent’s email account was compromised, and then cyber criminals attempted to make contact with a number of members of staff purporting to be from said parent, encouraging them to download and open a file that would have likely then compromised their machine and possibly, subsequently, other school systems.

Although on this occasion the security measures we have in place meant that we were able to detect and deal with this specific threat, it seemed pertinent to send out a reminder to all parents that their personal email account is often the weakest link in many security checks and processes, not just linked with the school.

We have been made aware that cyber criminals are increasingly targeting independent schools with ever more sophisticated attacks, and whilst we are, of course, taking all appropriate security measures in-house, we do want to make sure parents do not fall victim to these attacks as well.

Almost all email providers allow 2 Factor Authentication (2FA), and we would strongly urge all parents who have not already done so to activate this, as this is one of the key ways in which we can guard against the sort of account hacking that we are seeing.

Please also note that the Parent Portal is one of the stages of verification the school uses for various requested changes, such as mobile number and address (both things we know the cyber criminals look to interfere with), and so, whilst we are unable to enforce it at present, it is worth noting that 2FA is also an option on Parent Portal accounts, and we would strongly advise all parents to activate this. You can find a guide to setting up 2FA for My School Portal by clicking here

We fully appreciate that these additional security measures can at times seem a little inconvenient, but the level of sophistication that we are now seeing focused on schools is so significant that we feel obliged to urge you in the strongest possible terms to take the threat seriously.

First Year Notices 

PSHE Activities - Thursday 27 May 

As part of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education programme, all First Year pupils will follow a carousel of activities on Thursday 27 May, looking at basic drug facts, alcohol, money skills, digital safety, teeth and oral hygiene and team building. Please read this letter for more information. 

Second Year Notices 

No notices this week

Third Year Notices 

No notices this week

Fourth Year Notices 

No notices this week

Fifth Year Notices 


The yearbook is now ready to purchase at £15 each. Please use KESpay to make payment.

Deadline for Returning School Textbooks 

Please read this letter, regarding the return of school textbooks. 

Lower Sixth Notices 

No notices this week

Upper Sixth Notices 

Deadline for Returning School Textbooks

Please read this letter, regarding the return of school textbooks.

The History of KES 

Mr Diver, Head of History, has been digging into the history of our school. In this week's digital assembly, Mr Diver uncovers rare images of the old school sites around Southampton, and shares how the student experience at KES has changed, including an annual ‘walking on stilts’ competition on the common and students having to converse in Latin around the school. A fascinating short history class on KES that we urge you to watch. 

To watch the digital assembly, click here

Dance Gala 

On Friday 7th May, it was with much excitement that the Dobson welcomed back the school’s incredibly talented dancers to perform underneath the glitter ball in the hotly anticipated return of the Dance Gala. The performance showcased a 40-strong cast of diverse dancers in a myriad of styles including Ballet, African, Bharatanatyam, Street, Tap and Musical Theatre to name but a few! The evening was an eclectic celebration of passion and brilliance.

Though the cast were unable to perform to a live audience of supportive family and friends, the performance was filmed and will be made available as soon as possible. We can’t wait to share.

It was a truly special evening and extremely exciting to give our dancers the opportunity to dance on stage again. After an incredibly challenging year which saw the lights dim on many creative outlets, it was clear to see that our students' lights are as bright as ever for their craft. After hours of Zoom lessons in limited spaces, it was a true joy to see their wings take flight again. Dance at KES has always aimed to honour and encourage all abilities and styles and this evening was no exception in showcasing their magic.

Congratulations to all who performed.

Fly Through... The Library!

KES Library is the heart of the school, and we've filmed a 'fly through' video to show off the space. Recently extended and fully renovated, this bright, popular space can be used for study, reading, meeting like-minded peers and joining our Library Leader team. Lower School pupils enjoy a fortnightly ‘Reading for Pleasure’ lesson, with Ms Speck and Miss Phillips advising on the most exciting literature out there. 

Downstairs is our extensive fiction section which is comfy and relaxed, whilst upstairs we have non-fiction publications, magazines and academic texts; a perfect place for quiet study time. We encourage all students to pop in - there’s a book for everyone! 

2021 YA Prize for Fiction

Heartstopper is Oseman’s extremely popular and famous LGBTQ graphic novel series, which is soon coming to Netflix (but trust us the graphic novel is always better). Francesca, First Year, reviews the novel below. 

‘The Heartstopper series is an absolute masterpiece. Both the story and the beautiful drawings tell a wonderful tale of two young teenagers finding themselves in the mix of what we call love. Charlie and Nick have a really hard time discovering their feelings for each other due to all the homophobia and bullying they had to put up with at school, so you can imagine what it feels like when we find out they might become something more than friends. Not only that, but these books also dive into Charlie’s mental health and wellbeing. This makes this perfect romance seem more possible and down to earth. To deprive yourself of the experience you get whilst reading this book would be a real shame. And I can’t wait to see what happens in volume five!’

The library has all volumes of Heartstopper in the Library available for all years to borrow, including Volume 4 published just last week! Plus Oseman’s award winning YA novel ‘Loveless’. Pop in and see Ms Speck and Miss Phillips, for all your reading needs, they're there every day, all day!

Saturday Sport  

Saturday 15 May - Cricket 

Boys & Girls 

KES v Portsmouth Grammar School

Please note that spectators are not permitted at Portsmouth Grammar School playing fields at Hilsea. 

Should any players wish to go direct to Hilsea, they should be dropped at the Hilsea Lido car park, and walk to the playing fields. Directions can be found here

Click here to view timings, locations and schedule for Saturday Sport. In addition, the up-to-date training schedule can be found on Summer Term 2021 Sports Team Training Schedule.


Friday 28 May - INSET Day 

Monday 31 May - Half Term 

Monday 14 June - Activity Week (Fifth Year and Upper Sixth)